On Reconsidering Racism, Or, This Ain't Grandpa's America

We have a story today that is a big-time reminder of how things have changed in America...and it’s all inspired by a book of jokes. I am often prowling thrift shops looking for interesting things, and I came across a 1946 copy of “10,000 Jokes, Toasts, And Stories” (edited by Lewis and Faye Copeland), which contains a section of jokes entitled “Races and Nations”...which contains a subsection entitled “Negro”. We are going to examine some of those jokes...and the world in which those jokes resided. I warn you now: it will be highly unpleasant; but as we come out the other side the goal will be to show that what was not only acceptable, but commonplace, not so very long ago, would be considered wildly unacceptable today—and that we are a better people for the change.

Give Us a Lineup

The Washington Post highlights Timothy Geithner’s past efforts to monitor the selling of “financial instruments known as credit derivatives”.

But the prevailing regulatory culture prevented much in the way of real reform. Say Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Jeff Gerth:

“Geithner defended his tenure as New York Fed president in an interview last week. He said he had been "deeply concerned about risk in the system" and worked assiduously behind the scenes to cajole banking institutions to do more to identify weaknesses and protect the financial system. But he also took some responsibility for falling short.”

Salon Looks at 1960s Civil Rights Movement

Lauren Hermele has a photo essay on 1960s civil rights veterans in Salon. Great stuff.

A lot of the people comprising the civil rights movement have names that history will not record.

And quite a few live in Wisconsin today.

Registering voters, demanding jobs, risking their lives, enforcing democracy; that's what they did.

Today's Republican Party, like Wisconsin attorney general J.B. Van Hollen, and know-nothing GOP bloggers still don't get why so many were incensed by last year's voter suppression efforts. It's likely that they never will.

A Fake Consultant Exclusive: Administration Announces Drug Legalization Plan

Washington, D.C. (FNN)—In a move some are describing as a “news dump” timed to coincide with the attention being paid to President Obama’s foreign trip, the Justice Department announced the Administration’s plans to introduce legislation to legalize and regulate the manufacture, sales, possession, and use of what are today legally known as Schedule I drugs. Additionally, Schedule II through Schedule V drugs will be made available to adult members of the public at their request, with a doctor’s prescription no longer being required before such drugs can be dispensed. The drugs being “legalized” through this legislation would include marijuana, LSD, heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy; also included will be all pharmaceutical drugs currently under restricted distribution: among those are Xanax, OxyContin, and Viagra. “Since the Inauguration, we have received more input on this issue than on any other” reports Department of Justice spokesman Harry Paratestes.

All I know is what I read in the papers...

So much material, so little time. This one's been in the pending basket for a couple of days, but still timely:

Just when I thought we wouldn't have Steve Walters to kick around for awhile (I'd been told he was on vacation), he surfaced to push Randy Koschnick's spin once again.

Who'd have thought it? The MacIver poll still lives. And Randy Koschnik's plan to win a Supreme Court seat is to win over all of the undecided voters -- 46 per cent, he says, making the race "a tossup."

Well, there are a couple of things to consider, starting with whether the poll, done by the right-wing MacIver Institute about the same day it opened its doors back in February, was flawed from the get-go. 

As the only public poll in the whole campaign, it's been treated by the media as legitimate, making some of us old timers wistfully remember the days when there were some standards on what would be reported.

Source of Koschnick's funny numbers revealed

Ever wonder where Randy Koschnick's campaign gets the funny numbers it uses in its bogus claims about Shirley Abrahamson's record?

Now it can be told, thanks to the latest campaign finance report Koschnick filed with the Government Accountability Board.

Koshnick has gone to Ms. New Math herself -- Jessica McBride Bucher.

She can be relied upon to cook the books according to any recipe you'd like, as she demonstrated by her endless number crunching to try to show that Justice Louis Butler never met a criminal or a defense motion he didn't like.

Koschnick's been trying to make the same case against Abrahamson. No wonder Koschnick's claims about Abrahamson are so far off base.

Ms. Bucher -- that's how she's listed in the reports -- used to do bad math as a hobby, burning the midnight oil and typing furiously on her blog, since closed to visitors. Now she's found someone to pay her -- $1,250 paid so far and another $1,000 still owed her -- for her work.

Wonder if she has malpractice insurance.

Israel Shoots and Kills Peace Activist

When is killing enough killing?

From Robert Fisk in The Independent:

(Peace activist) Tom Hurndall had stayed in Rafah. He was only 21 where – in his mother's words – he lost his life through a single, selfless, human act. 'Tom was shot in the head as he carried a single Palestinian child out of the range of an Israeli army sniper.' Mrs Hurndall asked me to write a preface to Tom's book and this article is his preface, for a brave man who stood alone and showed more courage than most if us dreamed of. Forget tree huggers. Hurndall was one good man and true.
Don't know if there are still tickets, by the way, but if you are in Maidson next Tuesday, April 7, check out: Noam Chomsky;. "US Foreign Policy, Israeli Security, & Human Rights" (Event)

Randy Koschnick's clean campaign

This piece of garbage, filled with recycled claims that have already been disproven. says more about Randy Koschnick than it does about Shirley Abrahamson.  Fortunately, in their wisdom the citizens of Wisconsin have decided not to contribute enough money to his campaign to allow him to dirty up the airwaves with it.

Koschnick - "Record"